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Ms. WILSON of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I have heard the women of Congress come to the floor one by one by one to tell their personal stories about abortion. I am a very private person, and I just couldn't do it. I didn't want to relive the most painful time in my entire life.
But, yesterday, I read these startling statistics about my State, yes, the great State of Florida, the beautiful Sunshine State with all the beaches and the theme parks and the immigrant-rich communities, my Florida, my State.
If abortion is banned nationwide, Florida will be the most impacted State, seeing maternal deaths increase by 29 percent. That is the mother.
The Nation will see a 24 percent increase in maternal deaths, with a disproportionate 39 percent rise in maternal mortality for Black women.
All I ever wanted since I was a little girl was plenty of children that I could love and cuddle and raise to greatness. That was the school principal in me even back then.
So, after getting married in 1968, I would soon become a mother-to- be. It was the joy of my life. I was ecstatic. My husband was walking on the clouds. My husband and I would touch my stomach all the time just to feel the movement of our baby boy and the glory of a life growing inside of me. It was amazing.
Then, at 7 months, the baby stopped moving. He was soon pronounced dead right inside of my womb, and the doctor was prohibited, by law, from inducing labor.
I had to learn how, first of all, to handle the immense grief that comes with losing a child and the fact that the corpse of that child was still within me.
I cried every night and all day. My little body was wretched with pain, weakness, and frailty. I lost 50 pounds. I would crawl into a fetal position in my mother's lap most of the day and in my husband's most of the night.
I beg you, I plead with you, we can't go back. Lord have mercy, please have mercy on women like me.
I almost died. As the days became weeks and the weeks became months, the baby began to disintegrate, and the flesh from the corpse began to spill into my bloodstream. I was at risk for toxic shock. Poison was flowing through my grief-stricken little body.
At 8\1/2\ months, I went into labor, hard, painful labor, and what was left of the baby Wilson boy was born. Oh, what a day. Oh, what pain. Oh, what grief. Oh, what despair. Oh, what suffering.
After 3 days, I left the maternity ward in a wheelchair emptyhanded, no baby, nothing. I watched other mothers and families celebrate their newborns while I grieved and cried.
We had a small graveside burial for baby boy Wilson, and the doctors were so afraid that I would also have had to have a graveside burial.
Do not take us back to the days before Roe v. Wade. Everyone who needs reproductive healthcare is different. Abortion does not only apply to women who have decided for themselves they are not ready to have a child. Abortion affects women who are at risk of facing medical emergencies, life-altering emergencies, and death.
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, let the women march on and on till victory is won.
You cannot put young, childbearing women at risk because of a group of ludicrous, hateful, majority male Congressmen, who have no idea what it feels to even bear the pain of childbirth or even have the courage to carry a child for 9 months and who take pride in monitoring women's vaginas.
How dare you. How dare you. How dare you.
May God help you find it in your heart to hear my story and never wish that kind of pain and grief that I experienced on another living soul.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
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